God’s program to give the Promised Land to Abraham and his descendants took some strange turns. For instance? A famine upon the land, Joseph’s imprisonment, and bondage in Egypt. Hardly a joyful journey with God.
But God’s deliverance of His people from slavery in Egypt, and His gracious provision along the way, served to motivate gratitude in them “so that they might keep His statutes” (Psalm 105:45).
Our painful journey with God offers a hidden blessing.
Facing the Red Sea
Sometimes we must force ourselves to remember what circumstances try to make us forget. When the Hebrews faced the Red Sea, perhaps at Lake Timsah, with the Egyptian army behind them, they rebelled against the Lord:
They did not remember [the LORD’s] abundant kindnesses… Nevertheless He saved them for the sake of His name (Ps. 106:7–8).
God’s mercy shows up in our impossible situations—not because of us but in spite of us—and His grace delivers us so that we will respond as the Hebrews did:
Then they believed His words; They sang His praise (Ps. 106:12).
Waiting at Mount Sinai
While Moses was having his mountaintop experience on Mount Sinai, the LORD’s people “made a calf… and exchanged their glory for the image of an ox that eats grass” (Ps. 106:19-21). Amazing, isn’t it? In the shadow of God’s grace, provision, protection, and promises, “they forgot God their Savior, who had done great things in Egypt” (v. 21).
Why this fickle faith? Because Moses delayed to come down from Sinai (Ex. 32:1). God’s work in our lives isn’t always rapid-fire action and Red Sea partings. Sometimes we sit below Sinai and wait.
In those seasons, don’t allow the delay to sidetrack your devotion to God your Savior. Calves make lousy gods.
3 Powerful Truths to Know When God Delays
These events offer us at least three truths to give us strength during those seasons of waiting:
- When God delays to fulfill a promise, it’s often because He wants to give us more than we are asking for.
- As you face the Red Sea today, remember God’s faithful past and take courage at His track record.
- Part of God’s plan for our future includes shaping our character to live there.
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